William & Kate: A Modern Day Fairy Tale
Get ready for the royal romance to be dumbed down by the Americans into a biopic that feels like nothing more than an episode of Gossip Girl.
It’s just as well the Royal Wedding is taking place during non-ratings.
Otherwise we would never be subjected to rubbish like this telemovie, that dramatises the romance of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
It’s one of a swathe of TV offerings on the couple this week in movies, specials, documentaries and of course the live wedding itself.
This telemovie produced by US channel Lifetime was named William & Kate, but TEN has added the “Modern Day Fairy Tale” tag, which to be frank sums up the tone of the piece pretty aptly.
It’s a vacuous work of fiction, based loosely on documented events and it dumbs the lives of two people down to the level of a Gossip Girl episode. And it isn’t even that good.
If it were any worse it would make a great drinking game, but as it stands it just borders on insulting.
William is played by NZ actor Nico Evers-Swindell (NCIS: Los Angeles, Law and Order), while Kate Middleton is played by British actress Camilla Luddington (CSI, Behaving Badly, Days of our Lives).
The cast also includes Australian actor Jonathan Patrick Moore plus Victoria Tennant, Ben Cross and Serena Scott Thomas.
Most of the telemovie is filmed in Los Angeles in stately buildings that pass themselves off as European architecture. Keep your eyes out for several double decker buses, London cabs and right-hand drive vehicles.
The story revolves around William’s years at university when he met Kate as a friend but didn’t become attracted to her until he saw her wearing very little in a fashion parade. There are scenes that show how he kept their subsequent romance secret, befriended her family, grew apart and then realised the error his ways. These key plot moves mirror those that are on the record.
But it is the detail of the scenes, the dialogue and the characterisations that are most banal here. Fictionalised scenes of what the two said in private are soapy, at best. Accents across the telemovie waver terribly, from acceptable, to plum-in-mouth to bad Americans trying to sound British.
Africa, where William spent time visiting needy children, is depicted fleetingly as a lake, a tent and some African (or African-American?) children getting a needle immunisation. Kenya, where he proposed to Kate, is a studio shot filmed before a fake sunset backdrop.
There’s even a bitchy young aristocrat who looks down her nose at Kate, like the perfect super-soap villain. With all the faux-continental trappings, you could swear you were watching a scene from Cruel Intentions or last week’s episode of Gossip Girl.
At one point William says to Kate, “Half of Britain loves my family but the other half thinks we’re an outdated, extravagant, expensive joke. Have you seen the TV shows? The cartoons, the way we’re lampooned in the papers? I’m not sure we represent anything except a desperate hold on an irrelevant past.”
But William, have you read this script, mate?
William & Kate: A Modern Day Fairy Tale airs 8:30pm Wednesday on TEN.